| | english | español | français |
Go to record ID

  Home|Finding Information|Record details   Printer-friendly version

Information Resource
Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2012-05-11 14:38 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-05-11 14:38 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

General Information
Australia's dengue risk driven by human adaptation to climate change
Nigel W. Beebe, Robert D. Cooper, Pipi Mottram, Anthony W. Sweeney
Author’s contact information
Nigel W. Beebe
E-mail: n.beebe@uq.edu.au

School of Biological Sciences,
University of Queensland, St Lucia,
Queensland, Australia
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

The reduced rainfall in southeast Australia has placed this region's urban and rural communities on escalating water restrictions, with anthropogenic climate change forecasts suggesting that this drying trend will continue. To mitigate the stress this may place on domestic water supply, governments have encouraged the installation of large domestic water tanks in towns and cities throughout this region. These prospective stable mosquito larval sites create the possibility of the reintroduction of Ae. aegypti from Queensland, where it remains endemic, back into New South Wales and other populated centres in Australia, along with the associated emerging and re-emerging dengue risk if the virus was to be introduced.

Methodology/Principal Findings
Having collated the known distribution of Ae. aegypti in Australia, we built distributional models using a genetic algorithm to project Ae. aegypti's distribution under today's climate and under climate change scenarios for 2030 and 2050 and compared the outputs to published theoretical temperature limits. Incongruence identified between the models and theoretical temperature limits highlighted the difficulty of using point occurrence data to study a species whose distribution is mediated more by human activity than by climate. Synthesis of this data with dengue transmission climate limits in Australia derived from historical dengue epidemics suggested that a proliferation of domestic water storage tanks in Australia could result in another range expansion of Ae. aegypti which would present a risk of dengue transmission in most major cities during their warm summer months.

In the debate of the role climate change will play in the future range of dengue in Australia, we conclude that the increased risk of an Ae. aegypti range expansion in Australia would be due not directly to climate change but rather to human adaptation to the current and forecasted regional drying through the installation of large domestic water storing containers. The expansion of this efficient dengue vector presents both an emerging and re-emerging disease risk to Australia. Therefore, if the installation and maintenance of domestic water storage tanks is not tightly controlled, Ae. aegypti could expand its range again and cohabit with the majority of Australia's population, presenting a high potential dengue transmission risk during our warm summers.
Thematic areas
  • Scientific and technical issues
    • Risk assessment
Background material to the “Guidance on risk assessment of living modified organisms”
Is this document is recommend as background material for the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms”
Section(s) of the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms” this background material is relevant
  • 5. Risk assessment of living modified mosquitoes species that act as vectors of human and animal diseases
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
Publisher and its location
Public Library of Science (PloS)
© 2009 Beebe et al.
9 page PDF
PLoS Neglected Tropical Dieases
Keywords and any other relevant information
Citation: PLoS Negl Trop Dis 3(5): e429